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Rhinology. 2011 Aug;49(3):337-41. doi: 10.4193/Rhino10.130.

Factors affecting the impact of olfactory loss on the quality of life and emotional coping ability.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.



Olfactory impaired patients have decreased quality of life and may need to develop a coping ability for the olfactory loss. This study investigated how factors like olfactory function, disease duration, etiology, age, and gender affect patients` quality of life and emotional ability to cope.


Four hundred and thirteen consecutive patients with the chief complaint of olfactory dysfunction were evaluated. The Questionnaire of Olfactory Disorders (QOD) included negative statements (QOD-NS) that indicated the impact on the quality of life, and positive statements (QOD-PS) reflecting the emotional coping ability. Relations between studied factors and QOD-NS or QOD-PS were analyzed.


Poorer olfaction and younger age correlated with increased QOD-NS scores, whereas longer disease duration and older age correlated with increased QOD-PS scores. Females had poorer coping than males. QOD-PS scores were inversely related to QOD-NS scores.


The impact of olfactory loss is more significantly felt by younger patients with poorer olfaction. Older patients or those with longer disease duration develop better emotional coping abilities so as to reduce the impact on quality of life. It may be helpful for the patients with olfactory loss to develop emotional coping as early as possible to decrease the olfactory impact.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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